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Tokyo: Couple accused of selling fake hepatitis C remedy

Yoshimi Kase (left) and her husband Yoshimi Kase, 49, and her husband Takayuki
Yoshimi Kase (left) and her husband Yoshimi Kase, 49, and her husband Takayuki (Twitter)

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a man an his wife over the sale of a fake remedy for the infectious disease hepatitis C, reports Jiji Press (Feb. 7).

On January 4, 2017, Yoshimi Kase, 49, and her husband, 43-year-old Takayuki, allegedly sold two bottles of pills of fake Harvoni, which is a medication used to treat hepatitis C, to medical supplies wholesaler Yell Pharmaceutical, located in Chiyoda Ward, for between 800,000 and 1 million yen each.

According to police, one bottle of genuine Harvoni sells for between 1.6 million and 2 million yen.

Both suspects, who have been accused of violating the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law, deny the allegations, telling police they sold genuine Harvoni.

According to investigators, Hiroshima Prefectural Police previously arrested and sent to prosecutors both suspects on suspicion of using illegal drugs.

During the investigation of that case, including the examination of security camera footage and correspondence records, the alleged sale of fake Harvoni surfaced.

According to the Asahi Shimbun (Feb. 7), the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare confirmed the discovery of 15 bottles of fake Harvoni with wholesalers and merchants in Nara Prefecture and Tokyo since January of last year. The contents of the bottles were found to include vitamins and supplements.

Police suspect that the suspects in the case are members of a ring that deals in fake Harvoni.